Stewart Boone, age 98, longtime resident of Garden City, Kansas, died in Virginia Beach, Virginia, at 2:35pm on May 10, 2023. He was born on August 29, 1924, in Mulvane, Kansas.
Stewart was a descendant of Samuel Boone, a brother of famed Daniel Boone. He was the son of Otis and Nellie Boone. His two older sisters preceded him in death. Dorothy Blackburn and Doris Norden. His late wife, Joyce, passed away in 2015. They were married for 66 years and, prior to her death, they were noted as the longest living married couple in Kansas.
Stewart’s dad operated a Standard Oil gas station and during the Depression, when Stewart was only nine years old, a man came in, saying, “Mr. Boone, I can’t pay what I owe you for gasoline, but would you take this trumpet in payment?” This was the humble beginning of Stewart playing the trumpet. His audiences of over 70,000 included playing the National Anthem at the baseball stadiums of the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies, as well as a featured trumpeter in the Bolder Boulder 10K Memorial Day celebrations since 1997.
After graduating from Mulvane High School, Stewart enrolled at Southwestern College completing his freshman year before being drafted into the United States Army during WWII. He served with the 99th Infantry Division, 924th Field Artillery, Service Battery during the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded the Bronze Star and three battle stars – the Ardennes, Ruhr Pocket and Crossing of the Rhine River. Stewart was one of the Lucky Eleven from his unit not killed or taken prisoner.
Stewart was active in the 99th Infantry Division annual reunions and formed the Checkerboard Chorus in 1993. Eventually, a CD with music from the WWII era and accompanying narration about the Battle of the Bulge was produced.
Stewart was honorably discharged, January 1946, and returned to Southwestern College on the G.I. Bill. He received his B.A. degree in Business Administration in 1949.
Stewart married Joyce Henkle on August 15, 1948, in Garden City, Kansas. They had three children, Jeffrey Lynn, Russell Kent and Brenda Beth. The family made their home in Garden City, where Stewart was employed by the Henkle Drilling Company for 14 years. He was President and Executive Secretary of the Kansas Water Well Association. In 1969, Stewart established Boone Advertising Agency and Boone Business Service and Supply.
Stewart became the Scoutmaster for Troop 108, joined the Garden City Jaycees, and was selected as the Outstanding Young Man of Kansas (1959). He was Chamber of Commerce President (1959), Member and President of the USD457 Board of Education (1960-64), President of Garden City Community College Endowment Association (1969-71), and Chairman of Finney County American Cancer Drive (1981). He was a great supporter of local athletics and was inducted into the Garden City (KS) Community College Broncbuster Hall of Fame in 1989.
Stewart was active in the American Legion, serving as Post Commander 1971-72, and in 1973, he was instrumental in establishing the Avenue of Flags at Valley View Cemetery in Garden City, Kansas. He served as the bugler at over 1,200 graveside memorials and patriotic services. In 1999, he spearheaded the refurbishing and rededication of the Veteran’s Memorial. In 2009, he was the Parade Marshal for the Garden City Veteran’s Day Parade. Stewart’s pride in America was evident as he gave flag etiquette presentations at schools and organizations.
Stewart was a member and past President of the Garden City Rotary Club since 1952. In 1990-1991, he served as District Governor of Rotary International. During his governorship, thirty-one trees, representing the number of clubs in his district, were planted in Finnup Park in support of the Rotary International theme: “Preserve Planet Earth”.
Stewart was a prolific writer, songwriter, and poet. His wit and cleverness were incorporated into his creations. He could rhyme almost any word. He published a series of well-received children’s books in his later years.
Stewart was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Garden City, Kansas, where he served as lay leader, member of the Chancel Choir for 40 years, and a trumpeter for church services. Stewart taught 5th grade Sunday School for 26 years with his wife, Joyce.
Stewart is survived by his two sons, Jeff (Colette) Boone of Centennial, Colorado, Russ (Denise) Boone of Henderson, Nevada and daughter, Brenda (Rob) Street of Virginia Beach, Virginia, four grandsons: Brett, Tyler, Parker, Hunter, and six granddaughters: Dena, Kiki, Elle, Amy, Donna, and Julie, and fifteen great-grandchildren: Rowyn, Halston, Hudson, Duke, Logan, Otto, Cooper, Miles, Lincoln, Wyatt, Tatum, Boone, Thatcher, Lucy, and Oliver.
Stewart will be remembered for his commitment to family, church, community, and country. Stewart was first and foremost a family man. He was a devoted husband and father basking in the accomplishments of his children. Family vacations were highlights of the summer.
His courtesy and respect for others and his love for the Lord was evident to all who knew him. He never knew a stranger.
Stewart elected to donate his brain to Harvard for PTSD investigations. His remains were cremated. A memorial followed by a military service will be held at the Valley View Cemetery on the weekend of July 28-30, in Garden City, where Stewart and Joyce’s remains will be interred. Full service details will be posted here when available.
Any donations to honor Stewart’s life can be made to the Stewart and Joyce Boone Family Scholarship at Garden City Community College (GCCC). This endowed scholarship was initially established for children who had participated in the Project: I Care program and who wanted to attend GCCC. Project: I Care connected young at-risk children with community college student mentors. Today this scholarship is used for students who are enrolled in music or humanities programs.
Here is a link to the donation site: https://tinyurl.com/3p8vsp8c
Rest Stewart, until you hear at dawn, the low, clear reveille of God. Thank you for your service to this nation. U.S. Army, WWII.
Joyce and Stewart were both instrumental in my life. I loved her sociology class and kept up with my “I Care” child for many years. Stewart was everywhere in Garden City and always so friendly. He truly was a hero and his life story is amazing. What a privilege to know your parents.
Stewart leaves a legacy devoted to God!! So impressive. May God comfort you all at the loss of a loved one and let you envision his presence before the King himself.
On behalf of all the members of the Hampton Roads Council of Veterans Organizations, please accept our deepest condolences on the passing of a great American. Stewart Boone served his country heroically in some of the biggest battles of WW II. He was part of the Greatest Generation which made this Country great. His devotion to his faith, family, and country are inspiring. We should all strive to emulate Stewart. May he rest in eternal peace.
We were saddened to hear of the passing of Stewart and pray that God provides comfort and peace to the family. Stewart served his country and community in many ways; he was a pillar of our community and touched countless lives. Stewart built an extraordinary legacy that will live on for years to come.
May the love of God surround you and your family during this difficult time,
May you come to know that the love of God is with you always,
May your memories of Stewart Boone, give you peace, comfort and strength…
Rest now in the arms of our Lord your mission on earth is complete.
I thank you for your service to our Country and my Freedom. You will not be forgotten.
and prayers to the family of ….
US Army Veteran, Stewart Boone, is “A True American Hero” God Bless†
† Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 †
To the family of Stewart Bone, My deepest sincere sympathy to you all. I heard of his passing today on the news. He will be missed very much by everyone who knew him and loved him. I thank him for his service with the military. God Bless you all. David Shaw Richmond, VA
Brenda and family-
This story reads like a novel with a main character that was masterful and magical at the same time. I hung on every word, amazed at the accomplishments and the non-stop good that he did for this world. If ever there needs to be another “hero” film, this is the one I wish to see: The Stewart Boone Story.
I feel honored to have read his story. May his memory live on within the many branches of the tree that your father and your mother started with love.